Fish, not trash, should swim!

June 8, 2016

June 8th is World Oceans Day, an annual celebration to honor and conserve a healthy world ocean. Oceans make the planet blue. Oceans interconnect with everything. Oceans belong to everyone. Yet, careless actions of individuals affect ocean life. Humans discard plastic bottles, electronics, metal cans, and food wrappers. When this trash makes its way into marine environments, it’s termed marine debris.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) asserts that “wildlife entanglement and ingestion, economic costs, and habitat damage are some impacts of marine debris.” To counter this worrying trend, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program developed Understanding Marine Debris: Games & Activities for Kids of All Ages, Marine Debris 101, a games and activities booklet, to help kids take action against marine debris.

003-017-00558-5Understanding Marine Debris: Games & Activities for Kids of All Ages

This “marine debris 101” booklet pulls together an assortment of 20 puzzles, brain-teasers, and coloring activities suitable to help children of all ages understand hazardous disposal in marine environments. Sample exercises include

  • Picture Crossword—Types of Marine Debris;
  • Marine Debris Matchup—How Long Will It Take? (decomposition times for items such as a plastic bottle, fishing line, Styrofoam cup, and banana peel);
  • Connect the Dots—A Sea Turtle’s Story;
  • A Silly Story—Cleaning Up the Beach;
  • Marine Debris Maze—Getting to the Trash Can.
Understanding Marine Debris P12

Click on image to enlarge

The most sobering page (but still fun—promise!) is the marine match-up memory game. It shows what happens to marine animals when they encounter litter. A dolphin can get tangled in fishing gear. A sea turtle can choke on a plastic bag. A sea lion can become entangled in discarded ropes and nets. It won’t be hard for kids to realize that cute animals and their underwater habitat are toxified by everyday garbage.

Understanding Marine Debris P10

Click on image to enlarge

Although this activity booklet targets kids, it delivers a ton of reminders for adults, too. Think twice before littering. Get involved in community-based clean-ups. If individual actions contribute to dangerous marine debris accumulation, then it will take individual actions to undo it. Because the world ocean is not a dumping ground.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


A Way for Kids to Celebrate the National Park Centennial

June 6, 2016

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service (NPS). The agency was entrusted with a mission to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

024-005-01321-1This year, the National Park Service launches a second century of environmental stewardship and historic preservation. As NPS looks to its next 100, it invites everyone, especially kids, to experience one of over 400 national parks and monuments.

Children can join the national parks birthday celebration with the Centennial Junior Ranger activity booklet. It’s an activity-filled, adventure-based guide to explore, learn, and have fun in natural places. I’ll let some of the pages from this colorful, informative guide do the talking…click on each image to enlarge.

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This booklet comes with a bonus! Upon completing select activities, kids can bring the booklet to any national park visitor center to receive an official Junior Ranger badge.

As part of NPS’ Every Kid in a Park program, admission to all national parks is free for the entire year for fourth graders and their families. And with several fee-free days scheduled throughout 2016, it’s possible to get every kid and every family in a park. The more that people care about America’s special outdoor wonderlands, the more likely they will be around in 2116.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


This National Park Week, Be a Junior Ranger!

April 14, 2016

April 16-24 is National Park week and 2016 is the National Park Service’s (NPS) centennial year. National parks symbolize America’s spirit of discovery. Although protected today, parks need stewardship for tomorrow. The NPS activity-based Junior Ranger program aims to turn young visitors into lifelong enthusiasts. GPO makes available several park-specific booklets to help 5- to 12-year-olds explore “America’s best idea.”

The White House Junior Ranger Activity Guide

Home. Workplace. Museum. And National Park! The White House, home to every president and first family since 1800, is the only building in the world that fits all those categories. Since 1933, The White House has operated under the National Park System. That piece of presidential acreage sees millions of visitors each year. Now there’s a new fact-filled White House guide that appeals to both kids and adults.

9780160929892This booklet drops some great presidential trivia. Abigail Adams used the East Room to hang laundry. Dolly Madison saved a famous painting of George Washington from the War of 1812 fire. Edith Wilson was the first to showcase custom patterned china. All White House occupants leave a visible impression but first ladies drive the story of expansion, design, and entertainment. Beyond aesthetics, the booklet points out that first ladies were “champions for change.” President Harry Truman understood this well. He often introduced First Lady Elizabeth Truman as “the Boss.”

The booklet includes several pages of post-tour activities, including a President’s Park walking map, first family puzzle, and the ABC’s of architecture. Tip for parents: kids can present their booklet to a White House Visitor Center to be sworn in as a badged and certified Junior Ranger!

Redwood National and State Parks Junior Ranger Activity Booklet

Redwood Trees looking up Source: www.nps.gov

Redwood Trees looking up: http://www.nps.gov

Redwoods are the tallest trees on Earth. Living fossil records. But decades of commercial logging nearly decimated old-growth redwood forests of the North Coast region. In this booklet, Ranger Jim points out that “about 95% of the original coast redwood forest was cut down.” Although that statistic is dismaying, take heart. NPS is the capable caretaker of those special giants.

024-005-01316-4The booklet has dozens of activities families can complete while exploring redwood areas. Play tide pool bingo, be a tree detective, and fish for the right color. Write your observations in the ranger beach report. Solve the octopus tree mystery. Keep track of badge points. The fun and fascination are as endless as the redwoods are tall.

Next time you visit a national park, take a fact-filled activity booklet along!

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PUBLICATIONS?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


A Strategy to Protect Our Children

April 7, 2016

“Every day, four to eight children in the United States die from abuse or neglect at the hands of their parents or caretakers. No one knows the exact number, and there has been little progress in preventing these tragic deaths. Most of the children who die are infants or toddlers.”

—from “Within Our Reach A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities”

In 2013, Congress took notice of those concerning stats like ones above. It passed the Protect Our Kids Act and assembled the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF). Over a two-year period, a team of a dozen commissioners put their public and private sector expertise to task. Their nationwide review of practices and programs revealed that no state has a “sufficiently comprehensive plan to eliminate” child abuse and maltreatment fatalities. So, the commission used what it learned to judiciously recommend a foresighted national strategy.

In time for National Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, GPO makes available the commission’s final report in both digital and print formats.

In “Within Our Reach A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities,” Chairman David Sanders writes, “If we as a nation do nothing different to prevent child abuse and neglect fatalities, somewhere between 1,500 and 3,000 U.S. children will die from maltreatment.” He calls for a proactive, not reactive, approach to eliminate child abuse and neglect fatalities. That’s exactly what this policy guidance document aims to do—fundamentally reform old practices and make prevention standard practice.

Several of the chapters dig into the complex conditions that make children vulnerable, especially in disproportionately affected minority communities. Until quality services are made equitably available, opportunities to decrease child fatalities will be missed. Another focus is the “disparity between federal legislation on child safety and the impact at the local level.” Proposed solutions include more multi-disciplinary, real-time data sharing and accountable leadership. Notably, the commission recommends the Children’s Bureau be elevated as a direct report to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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Image excerpt from CECANF Report.

The commission acknowledges that without a way forward, its final report is dead on arrival. So, it recommends that the U.S. government critically review child maltreatment deaths going back five years. The report concludes that “an immediate safety analysis of children who died in the past…will create a national learning community to better protect children and prevent fatalities” in the future.

The commission’s strategy lays out a lot of reasonable action steps. Grounded in practicable research, it’s an earnest effort to produce evidence-based results. Results “within our reach” that will manifestly save children’s lives.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS REPORT?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Two Bites from MyPlate Make Eating Right Fun for Kids

March 4, 2016

Fad diets appear to be fading in popularity these days. Healthful eating plans packed with flavorful foods are making headway. Sounds sensible for adults, right? But what about kids? Young children need help to make smart choices and grow up healthy. March is National Nutrition Month, a perfect time to chat about nutritiously fueling our youngsters.

GPO makes available two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) nutrition education eBooks for early childhood that make eating right fun for kids. Bonus: these books have great audio and interactivity!

Discover MyPlate: A MyPlate Meal (ePub)

DMP Emergent Reader about a complete MyPlate meal

“I have apples. Nate has peas.” It’s certainly not the introduction to A Tale of Two Cities but the simplicity does grab your attention. This zippy activity book has 8 pages of illustrations and 26 words in total. It’s very easy to digest (pun intended) and doubles as a coloring book.

MyPlate illustrates the five building block food groups in the structure of a plated meal that is designed to help children to identify foods within the food groups. It’s what kids know and relate to. The dietary brains at USDA FNS know that children learn best when they can chose and try and enjoy. This resource models eat well, play well habits for life.

The Two Bite Club (ePub)

First rule of the Two Bite Club is that we don’t talk about the Two Bite Club. Just joshin’. Allow Will the cat to give his take: “Each color on the plate in the picture is a different food group. My teacher told me that if we eat two bites from each food group we can be members of the Two Bite Club!”

9780160931352This publication is available in both English and Spanish language versions (Spanish version coming soon). The Two Bite Club, and El Club de los Dos Bocados, is colored with tasty grain, fruit, vegetable, protein, and diary illustrations. At the end of the booklet is a certificate from the Two Bite Club for bravery in trying new foods. How adorably empowering!

Anna, by the feline nudging of mom and brother, discovers that just one bite can change her nutrition worldview, or should I say foodview. The “try two bites and you might like it” guidance might be just the thing to change your child’s foodview, too.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

You can click on the links above in the blog or through any of these methods:

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Steppin’ It Up With College Planning

February 18, 2016

Planning for college is a towering task. Paying for college can be a monumental challenge. My head hurts! I can hardly imagine any of it makes sense to middle and high school students. Until My Future, My Way: First Steps Toward College came along.

The Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid folks have assembled a top-shelf e-Pub booklet to frame the big, scary questions without oversimplifying them. The layout is arranged in a series of prompts, mythbusters, and graphics for the college and vocational school-bound. It tackles the “when should I begin thinking of college?” and “what can a college education do for me?” and “how will I pay for college?” sort of FAQs. And it features a nifty comparison of vocational, technical, and professional career choices as well.

065-300-00008-7The workbook is certainly not designed to replace traditional guidance counseling. The goal here is to get middle schoolers to start asking questions now that will make professional career planning less intimidating. As is often the case when undertaking something new, school kids might not even know what questions to ask. Give them a tailor-made activity book, such as My Future, My Way, and post-high school success will be that much more attainable.

Equipped with a few new life skills, 6th through 9th graders will hopefully be compelled to build a mentorship network. The workbook calls it a “college support team”—the people who can help youngsters get to college. It’s a sensible suggestion that doesn’t get enough airtime amid the all too important talk of money planning, test scores, and scholarships. Charts and checklists are great. Caring, informed people are better. As the booklet rightly points out, “Getting ready for college may seem like a lot to handle, but you don’t have to do it alone!”

Now my head doesn’t hurt as much! All joking aside, it’s nice to see real answers placed in the hands of students. A bit of good guidance is the sure footing needed for those first steps toward college.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.

 


Elmo’s Fire-Safe World

February 2, 2016
Image source: http://www.sesameworkshop.org/

Happy Birthday, Elmo! Image source: www.sesameworkshop.org/

E-L-M-O! Any toddler goes bananas for that fuzzy mass who refers to himself only in third-person. Whenever my two-year-old niece sees a TV screen, she demands that Elmo appear like he’s some kind of omnipresent wizard. The falsetto-voiced Sesame Street pundit celebrates his birthday on February 3rd (he always turns 3 ½ that day). Insert high-decibel squeal of pre-K apostles who endorse the fire-engine red Muppet as their life coach. Fortunately for you, that’s a sound that cannot be conveyed in writing. So, instead, I will use this time to talk about Elmo and friend’s empowering fire safety message.

The message takes the form of the “Sesame Street Fire Safety Program Family Guide” from Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration. Family coloring book. Fire literacy primer. A get-it-together-you-grown-ups safety guide. It’s all those things. FEMA and Sesame Street really deliver. Everybody do the Elmo happy dance! Yes, all of you. Hordes of zealous preschoolers are watching.

064-000-00067-5This guide is not just about Elmo. A proper shout out goes to Cookie Monster, Grover, and Telly Monster. Together, the fire brigade educates with catchphrases like “hot, hot, stay away. hot, hot, not for play” and “get outside and stay outside!” The playbook covers how to avoid hot things that burn, make a home escape map, family practice time, and simple steps to follow if the smoke alarm sounds. For parents and caregivers, there are kitchen safety tips for you, too.

Start a healthy discussion around a scary thing like a fire emergency. Demonstrate that preparation and prevention are skills that the entire family can work on together. Cultivate lifelong fire safety habits. Make it a fun process. As the guide says, “fire safety begins at home. The simple steps you take can make a big difference in staying safe from fires.”

So, grab a copy of “Sesame Street Fire Safety Program Family Guide” for your family. Think of it as a conversation starter to reduce the risk of a fire-starter. And remember, it’s Elmo’s fire-safe world. We just live in it.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


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